I hate her. I hate all of them. And yes, I realize it’s because of petty jealousy.
They send her on her way the second pizza arrives. I join them at the table, sitting in my seat on the end, pretending I’m eating a piece as well as Two speaks around a mouthful.
“It’s my turn to choose the girl next. We haven’t had a redhead in a while,” he tells them.
I frown, looking at my very dark hair. “Nothing at all wrong with brunettes,” I tell him, though he obviously doesn’t hear me.
“Blondes are more fun,” One states with a dark grin.
“Only because you haven’t met me yet,” I point out. “I’ll be game for basically anything with the four of you the second I’m whole.”
“Brunettes are the most tolerable,” Three says after draining a beer.
“Tolerable is not a very sexy way of describing the women with my hair color, Three” I say on an exasperated sigh. “Do you have to be so rude?”
“Brunettes are the ones who fake it the least,” Four says with a smirk, winking over at Three, who pointedly ignores him.
“Yeah, but the blondes I pick out are wildcats. Very little effort in convincing them to try a little bit of anything,” One goes on.
“Redheads are wildcats too. And they’re fucking vicious in the best way,” Two says as he grabs another piece of pizza. “Not to mention they make you work for it.”
“I find it rather annoying how you four classify women based on their hair color,” I primly state, pretending as though my opinion carries weight, when they can’t even see or hear me.
“How about we just get some rainbow-haired girls and call it a tie?” Three drawls.
“I’ll change all of your minds on brunettes. Or I’ll just figure out a way to finally possess these women and be a little bit of everything,” I tell them absently, studying the types of pizza they ordered tonight.
I’ll try some of that pepperoni when I can.
The conversation shifts when they start discussing these trials I’m so curious about, so I perk up.
“Manella has something planned if he’s finally putting us in the trials. We should be ready for anything,” One states conversationally, as though they’re picking up a discussion they paused to sex up that very lucky girl.
“He’s an idiot if he does let us in. Whatever he doesn’t want us knowing will be easier for us to find,” Three says flippantly.
That has me inching forward.
“We’ve played our part. We’ve done our time. They’re running out of reasons as to why we can’t be there. They had to do this because everyone else was starting to have the same questions we were. We’ve excelled at everything, won time after time, yet never get into the trials. They can’t cover it up if they make it so obvious,” Two—I love his voice the most—says as he pours himself a drink.
Make what obvious? It would be awesome if they’d talk about this stuff here more than there.
“Not to mention the sheer volume of souls we’ve reaped. Our count is much higher than anyone else’s,” Four drawls.
Oh, I forgot to mention, they’re sort of bad guys. I’ve been calling them reapers.
I mean, they send the bad souls to the bad place, so obviously they’re bad guys if they’re working for soul collectors or something.
I still want all four. Told you; you learn a lot about your moral compass when yours is the only opinion that matters. Turns out, I’m an unapologetic psychopath.
Not really. I’d just like to know why exactly they got into this line of work. As I said, they’re immortal, which is totally mind-blowing until it’s just sort of regular, everyday stuff.
I’m not even wowed by it anymore, but I can’t be impressed by a mere mortal now either. Not after being around them so much.
I wonder if I was ever impressed by a mere mortal. I really hope I’m not a virgin—can’t even touch myself in this state of being to do an inspection.
I don’t want any awkwardness when I finally figure out how to touch them.
And I will figure it out.
They’ve fortunately had some women over who love their old collection of nineties movies. The ones they have to woo usually get to pick a movie while they get over their nerves of being with four indecently sexy men at once. Some of the ones who’ve chosen Ghost? I love those women. They’re totally awesome, even if I still hate them when they get to touch my men.
I’ve learned so much from that movie though.
It’s not done me any good yet, but I hope to get stronger and stronger until I can possess every girl who walks through that door. Don’t judge. You’d do it too.
Four’s phone rings, and he answers it, cutting off the conversation. “Yeah. We’re on the way,” he says before hanging up.
“Job?” Two asks.
“Big one. Meet me at the cemetery,” Four tells them, and I try to reach him in time to grab on.
Did I mention they can do this freaky disappearing thing? I learned if I’m close enough, it drags me with whichever one is doing it.
I miss Four, so settle for hopping a ride with One, managing to catch him before it’s too late.
Just as we land in the cemetery, I see a horde of black souls escaping, trying to go back out into the world.
Four slices through the air with his silver bo staff, and it glows as it sucks in soul after soul.
The others use their own respective weapons, and I watch them as they storm the city, chasing all the deserters. I have no idea where they come from, or why so many come at once.
But every time I’m here in this cemetery, I feel something familiar about it.
It almost feels like home.
And I don’t even know my name to check for it on headstones.
As always, I walk from room to room, telling them all good night. They can’t hear it, but I do things like that. It makes me feel a little more normal.
Whatever that is.
I always sit down with them when they eat, and I listen to them talk about random things and soul breaks—like the one tonight—that they have to clean up. I often offer my two cents on the conversation, but they talk over me, of course.
But my favorite part of the day is going room to room, making sure everyone is in bed, and telling them good night before I watch over them. Sounds less creepy than just watching them.
A creak so light I almost miss it manages to snag my attention away from Two—the one I’ve decided to watch tonight.
He sleeps so fitfully that I usually choose him just so I can feel like I’m consoling him, even though I can’t do a thing.
Another barely-there creak has me on my feet and moving down the hall as Two wrestles with the sheets.
Rounding the bottom of the stairs, I expect to find Three, since he has trouble sleeping. He has full days where he crashes to make up for all the times he’s been awake.
But it’s not him.
I catch a glint of silver as a man passes right through me, the dark house hiding his face before I can even process what’s going on. I turn to see him moving silently up the stairs, sans the occasional light creak that won’t wake them.
They sleep heavier than that, even if they don’t all sleep soundly.
The silver glistens again, and my heart catches in my throat when I realize it’s a sword. I have no idea if a sword will kill them, but I sure as hell can’t watch them die.
This house is enormous, and yet he’s on the exact wing where they all four sleep? He knows his way around.
I pass right through him again, and he doesn’t even blink. Walking backwards up the stairs to stay in front of him, I study his face, trying to see who he is. I have to find a way to stop him, and his identity won’t help, but at least I’ll know who to curse.
“Stop!” I shout.
He keeps walking, not seeing me or hearing me.
“Wake up!” I shout to the guys as I turn around. The man passes through me again, and my non-existent heart beats that much faster as it thumps in my ears, echoing the sound of a ticking clock.
Panic seizes me when I make an attempt to block him again, and almost scream when he barely cracks open the door to One’s room.
He peers inside, and I rush through him and the door, looking around for anything I can find. I strain, needing something to happen, feeling completely useless and terrified as that door starts opening wider, the shred of hallway light spilling into the room more with each inch.
One doesn’t even stir, even as I pass through him over and over, running through the bed and his body.
“Wake up! Wake up!”
Just as the man snakes into the room with the silence of a seasoned killer, he raises the sword.
I react without thinking, screaming as I launch myself at the man, putting every single bit of my fear into that one action as desperation chokes me.
His eyes widen seconds before the first thing I remember ever feeling comes in the form of blunt, mind-searing pain. Then just as quickly as it appeared, it’s gone, as the man and I topple to the ground. I pass right through him, barely managing to stop myself from passing through the floor.
It took me a long time to get the hang of not falling through floors.
Then I dart to my feet, gasping. I just knocked him down! Holy shit! I did that!
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